A Centennial primary care clinic has been suspended from administering the COVID-19 vaccine and 68 people will likely need to be revaccinated after a state investigation determined the clinic violated several federal standards.
The state Department of Public Health and Environment announced the immediate suspension of Health Now Family Practice late Friday afternoon. The clinic, operated by Health Now Medical, reportedly had COVID-19 inventory discrepancies; improperly stored and handled vaccine doses; and incomplete documentation of both vaccine administration and storage temperature; he also allegedly vaccinated people “outside the manufacturer’s recommendations” and violated billing requirements.
The vaccine is provided free of charge to all people in the United States, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. A state health department spokeswoman said in an email that the clinic charges some patients an administration fee. The clinic was also administering doses more than 12 hours after the vial was punctured or after the dose expiration date.
The spokeswoman said the billing violations have been reported to the “Division of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General” and the clinic may face further disciplinary action.
The state health department said it is working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine “specific storage and handling incidents” and “exact revaccination guidelines.”
“Due to multiple occurrences of storage and handling issues, it is likely that up to 68 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine administered at Health Now Family Practice will be deemed invalid,” the agency wrote, “and these patients will need to be revaccinated.”
A message left with the Health Now Family Practice administration was not immediately returned Friday afternoon.
Anyone vaccinated at the clinic can contact the state health department with questions at 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926).
Health Now Family Practice is not the first Colorado provider to be suspended. Last year, a clinic in Colorado Springs was suspended and patients were revaccinated after authorities discovered storage and handling problems there.